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Amy Gutmann Education. (2012) BookTV at the University of Pennsylvania Amy Gutmann, 'The Spirit of Compromise Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It.'

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United States 9, New York 9, Us 8, Pennsylvania 7, Albany 7, U.s. 3, Princeton 3, South Carolina 3, Braille 3, Penn 3, George Stinny 2, West Philadelphia 2, Philadelphia 2, Buffalo 2, Janis Thompson 1, Ronald Reagan 1, Ms. Fenicker 1, George Kim 1, Ted Kennedy 1, Bradley 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Amy Gutmann  Education.  (2012) BookTV at the University of  
   Pennsylvania Amy Gutmann, 'The Spirit of Compromise Why...  

    December 10, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00am EST  

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lecture circuit? what are your plans? >> guest: well, i love being a doctor. there's no better job in the world than to come out after surgery and say, your mom is going to be fine and here's what we did. but i also love talking about the subject because i feel like from my position at hopkins, being open and honest about this problem, other people have come and spoken up about it. and i think i'm going to continue to do some speaking at different meet examination conferences and still operate three days a week. >> host: sounds great. and write another book? >> guest: hopefully. >> great. i'm chip davis, the book is "unaccountable" and be appreciate you taking the time today. good to be with you. ...
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>> ted kennedy, hatch, crafted compromises. they were both strong partisans, but they had the spirit of compromises. that's our main prescription for compromise. >> but if you look at senator hatch, he was a pretty well threatened by the tea party, the primary potentially ousted from office because of the compromises. >> true, and we don't say compromise is difficult, governing is difficult, however, as politicians, what do we remember hatch for?
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for passing great legislation to protect health care. we're not going to remember politicians for their cowardness, but for their courage. we're in the going to remember them positively for cowardness, but their courage. we are calling on politicians to exercise leadership. there's a set of reforms that would make it easier to compromise, reforming the filibuster, open primaries, rather than close primaries. limiting the amount of money that is politics. the problem is you can't get reforms without compromise so we all have our favorite reforms. politicians need to mix mind sets and lead, and that's imminently possible. >> host: you write on restraining the rhetoric, a third strategy of agreeing is to
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agree on the fact disagreement occurs on most issues, and it's not usually yielding agreement let alone general consensus. what do you mean? >> guest: well, what we mean is that we have a polarized politics right now, and if each side stems on favorite principles, we'll get no compromise, no deals, grid lock, economic disaster, and economizing on your principles means finding places where you can concede something not other side by finding ways in which you your principles intersect with theirs. it is what some call commonground, but what we are saying is it's not all commonground, it's agreeing to things that the other side believes in that are consistent with moving the ball forward
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according to the own principles so we do this all the time when we make deals outside of politics. you look to what is most important for you to gain, and you also give something to the other side. >> so does the president of the united states have a role in this compromise >> guest: i thought you were going to ask if the president as a rule, but the president of the united states definitely has a role, and, again, the president has to point in the direction of his and his party's principles, but the president also has to show, by words and deeds, that he's willing to make a good compromise, and i believe president obama has, in fact, done that. >> host: how so? >> guest: well, the president has said, and reached out across the aisle on various things with regards to economic reform, tax reform, and immigration reform.
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i think, while i don't have a crystal ball, i think there is little doubt that the president would be willing to compromise if the other party is willing to meet him part of the way. now, the other party's job is to see how much it can get for its side, and begin, you know, the issues we've been through, such as the fiscal cliff, the fact is that there's no way out of the issues without compromise, but i do think we will see compromise on something like immigration reform because demographics is destiny, and the republicans as well as democrats recognize that they have to show support for immigration reform if they are not going to, in the case of the republicans, lose the hispanic population permanently to the republican party, so the
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president has already, i believe, shown willingness to compromise and all the data shows that republicans are the party that's more further to the right and democrats more to the left, although both parties moved to the extremes. i think we're going to see the president, because he won the election, being tougher rhetorically about not compromises, although saying that he's open to compromise in order to see how far the republicans are willing to move. >> host: so we are taping this interview in the middle of the so-called fiscalically debate. how do you see january 1st -- how would you like to see january 1st come about? >> guest: well, it is clear that the vast majority of americans, and i'm with the vast majority of americans on this, would like to see a compromise before the end of 2012;
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otherwise, a lot of bad things will start to happen. it's clear to me -- it's not clear whether there will be one, although both sides stand to lose if there isn't, and that's a good recipe for compromise, but it is clear to me that if there is not a compromise before, it's better sooner than later. >> host: does a president of the university of pennsylvania, does the ceo, does the family member have to compromise on a daily basis? >> guest: absolutely has to compromise, whether on a daily basis, that's -- one doesn't want to compromise, one shouldn't want to compromise. one should be willing to compromise when necessary to achieve one's goal, and that's true in personal relationships as well as in politicsing and certainly true all the time in
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the profession. ed man burke, the great conservative philosopher, said all human relations are based on compromise, and i think he was right. >> host: back to the spirit of compromise, one problem with rejecting compromise in the hope of a better one to come is at the rejection itself becomes an obstacle to reaching the future compromise. >> guest: yeah, that is so true today of our politics, but continue rejection of the compromise and continue demonization of one's political opponents in the campaign made compromise very difficult, even when it's entirely and absolutely and obviously necessary. >> host: what about the supreme court. do they ever compromise? >> you know, one of the interesting things about the supreme court is that while they give reasons for their opinions, we don't get a window into the
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back chamber of negotiations. that said, it is clear they found compromise, and, indeed, the 5-4 decision on the affordable health care act where judge chief justice roberts sided with the four liberals on the court, many people think may have been a compromise. now, whether the justices speak of it as a compromise is doubtful, but if you look at how the justices came down and the pressure to craft a majority opinion, it is plausible to think that that decision was a compromise between interpretation of commerce clause and upholding of the affordable care act and many other close decisions on the court look like compromise.
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>> host: who is janis thompson? >> guest: my wonderful co-author, many yearings ago when we were both at princeton university, we co-taught a course on ethics and public policy, and that led to us co-authoring several books on deliberation and democracy. >> host: in the spirit of compromise, president, you give two examples, the tax reform and the health care act. if you would, walk us through that. >> guest: so this is a tale of two compromises, and it begins with ronald reagan, presidency, where tax reform was a humanly important issue, and hugely difficult issue to get done between republicans and democrats. those of us who lived through
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the reagan era recognized people thought they were polarized. tip a stanch liberal democrat, reagan, a republican. yes, they crafted a bipartisan compromise with bradley, packwood, be part of the movers of the compromise. farce -- fast forward to the affordable care act, it was arguably for difficult to craft a compromise within one party, the democratic party, because of the permanent campaign, and not just polarized, but resistance how the two parties were. the comparison between the tax reform act and the affordable care act helps to see how much more difficult compromise is, and how much more important it is for two parties to get
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together to craft the compromises on immigration on tax reform, and many other issues that the country now need. >> host: was there or is there a golden age of compromise through real crisis, 9/11, world war ii, lend themselves to compromise? political compromise? >> guest: so compromise is always tough, and the way we should judge ability of the politicians to compromise is what are the great goals that they have succeeded in getting that they couldn't have without compromise? the golden age, if there was one, and i'm inclined to think there was never a golden age, but there was a very important age of compromise which founded this country, and so i would go back to the constitution for all
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its wart, and it was more than a wart, but an evil baked into it, the slavery, the constitution made it possible to abolish slavery. it was the articles of this that proceeded the constitution, and with them, there was veto power over all legislation, so it was actually the establishment of the constitution of the united states that was established and compromised and made the abolition of slavery ultimately possible. >> host: speaking of compromise, if the so-called fiscal cliff talks do not come to a conclusion, it's implemented, have you looked at how you have to compromise the university of pennsylvania? how it would affect the university of pennsylvania? >> yeah. if we were to go over the
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miscall cliff, and more so if there isn't compromise that really establishes the american financial system on solid grounding, then there will be many ways in which we, as a university, and every university in the country will be compromised in the sense of compromising our quality. we will be -- we depend upon the funding of biomedical research to spur innovation in the country. that will dry up. we are committed to making penn affordable for the undergraduates which costs $181 million a year. that's twice the amount it costs us eight years august because we ramped up financial aid, and the more unemployment terrorist in the country, the more we spend
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on financial aid, and it would be a tragedy if the country moved in a direction to make education less affordable so, we, as a university, are very dependent and very concerned about the fiscal health of the country. >> host: are you also in the classroom here at the university? >> guest: i do enjoy teaching, and i take every opportunity to meet with students to tox r talk to students and teach in the spare time. >> host: what does a provost do, and how long were you at princeton? >> guest: i was at princeton for 28 years from the time i got my ph.d. to the time i came to penn, and i was deep of the faculty at simpson since the chief academic and chief financial officer at princeton so the provost works closely with the president. >> host: what's the learning curve on being a president of
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the university? >> guest: well, it's steep for anybody, and it's also very excited. >> reporter: how many students? >> guest: so the university of pennsylvania has 10,000 undergraduates, approximately 10,000 graduate students. we have about 4500 faculty members. we run three hospitals, and we have a great school of medicine as well as a great school of arts and sciences, and other schools, we have 32,000 employees, the largest private employer in philadelphia, and we like to think of ourselves as ben franklin's university, a university which is elite, but not elitist, we're not an ivory tower. we really believe in integrating knowledge to socialize impact, and we are an economic engine of
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innovation for the cities, the region, for the country and world. >> host: by the way, is this the original location, where we are in the university center area? >> guest: we are in university city in west philadelphia. penn originally started in what was then a very small downtown city of philadelphia and ten moves to west philadelphia, and what we call university city which we have helped make into a very vibrant arts and culture and economic hub. >> host: here's the book. s conspiracy of compromise by governing demanding it, and campaigns underminds it. amy and dennis the co-authors. this is "booktv" on c-span 2.
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>> host: on your screen is a photograph taken in 1942, buffalo, new york, university of pennsylvania professor, what are we looking at? >> guest: at a woman who committed suicide at the hotel in buffalo during that year, and a photographer happened to be passing by and took the picture that appeared in "life" at the time and one widely acclaimed award for having been able to catch the moment at the pern's death, at the moment in which the person was about to die. this is really the start of a whole tradition, a whole legacy of photos of people facing death that cluttered our news stations ever since. >> host: you use the word "cluttered," what's the value of seeing that picture? >> guest: the value of the picture like that pulls us in subjectively. it's an emotional, dramatic picture, memorable, pulling in all emotions through which we
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can engage in the event, the event that it's depicking, and this is important in news because not only do we want to understand what we're seeing, but we want to feel important things about what we're seeing. we want to feel fear, anguish, compassion, mentality, all kinds of things that help drive the news for us and make it important. >> host: well, i want to compare that photo we just saw to a recent "new york post" front page photo. what are we looking at here? >> guest: this came out just this morning. this was a gentleman from queens who was pushed off of a subway platform and a photographer, a freelance photographer snapped the picture. i think these pictures actually illustrate very well where we've come in terms of our public sentiment and professional sentiments about pictures of people facing death whereas the first picture in 1942 won
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awards, it generated tremendous acclaim for the photographer. it's taught in photography courses as the kind of picture that people want to have in the news. this picture and the photographer and the newspaper were widely critiqued. people said all day it's been all over the blogs, what were they thinking? why did the photographer take the picture? why didn't he run away? why didn't he help? why did the newspaper actually show the picture? why is it on the front cover? there's a gap in public sentiment about what the pictures mean and what they are supposed to do for us in connecting about the news. >> host: did the gentleman on the track die? >> guest: he did, and, in fact, the photographer was criticized for not having helped the gentleman get up from the subway tracks. anybody who knows anything about gravity knows it's difficult for one individual to pull somebody up from the tracks.
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there was multiple other people on the platform, and the photographer was reduced to the point of saying that he had actually taken the picture so as to -- for his flash to alert the conductor to stop the train, which is a crazy excuse, but that shows the degree to which he was criticized for having to take the picture to begin with. >> host: as a professor of communication here at the university of penn, pennsylvania, what's your reaction to the photographer? what do you say? >> guest: my reaction to the photographer is my reaction to all of the photographs that appear in my book, that depict pictures of war, pictures of disaster, all which have been capsized in this moment of people facing death, and my argument has long been that if we are willing to read the news about these events, we should be willing to see the pictures about the events. the pictures do different things, but that they are no less important as vehicles of
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information relay than are the words of their sides, and for as long as we say i want to know about the event, but i don't want to see pictures about it, we are not -- we are not accepting or recognizing how images bring us into the news in ways that's different from words. >> host: some argue the image we'll show here in "about to die" is different than an image of a man on the train track or the woman jumping out of a building. what are we seeing here? >> guest: well, we're seeing here a kevin carter image taken in sudan of a small child who was dying of starvation, and a vulture sitting at the background waiting to jump its prey. this photograph, i agree with you, is qualitatively different, although, it does fit into the larger moment of pictures of people facing death and their capacity to draw us into the news. this picture, of course, at the
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time, won, again, many awards, appeared in time magazine, and then the criticisms started coming, and started coming intensively, critiquing carter for not having helped the child. there were many readers letters that came and said, you know, what happened to the child? where did the child go after the picture was taken? of course, carter was not able to provide answers. there were many erroneous answers offered. it was said that the child had moved to safety in a feeding center, said that he picked the child up, then he didn't pick up the child, and he went and sat in a tree and cried, and, in fact, the following year after he was received awards for the photo, he committed suicide. the legend went on newspaper lure that he committed suicide because he couldn't handle the
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critiques leveled against him for taking that particular photo, and that's a way of saying these photos are not easy to take or see, but they depict what's going on in the news, and for that reason, they are important to look at. >> host: i want to go back to the new york post here. would you have taken this photo had you stood there with a camera? >> guest: absolutely, i would have taken the photo. i don't think the question of "would i had taken the foe koa" is a question the photographer asks themselves. if the news is taking place, you record it, and you record it with whatever device is available, words or pictures, and what i tried to do in the book is generate a more empathetic understanding of why pictures are important on their own terms. >> host: very well known picture right here. >> guest: this is the picture, the shooting of regime during the vietnam war, a picture, also
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problematic, are as most of the pictures in the book a picture in which the general was shooting a suspected prisoner, and the picture that came out was widely admired, widely recognized, and intensively generated discomfort for the photographer who had taken it. the argument was is that what he argued is that taking that one picture against the other pictures created a criminal out of the general who was doing the shooting, gave him notoriety making it difficult for him to live a so-called normal life after the fact. the argument, of course, is that these pictures, because they show a particular moment out of a larger sequence of action, there always is some kind of tension about what hay depict
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versus what more generally happened. >> host: professor, related public policy issue that we've been facing the last couple years, fallen soldiers, dead u.s. soldiers, even arriving in their caskets in dover. should those be shown? >> guest: i would say they absolutely should be shown. what happened is the reason why a picture of somebody facing dpet is so prevalent, and i argue it appears across the landscape of unsettled difficult events about which there's no consensus, the reason this kind of picture has arrisen with such widespread youth is because we're uncomfortable with pictures of death, and i think that that is something we have to think about. if our news events involve death, death of military, victims, death of people who are dying in tsunamis and
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earthquakes, then why shouldn't we see them? we see pictures of death in the fictional spaces, on television, in film, we see them on the internet; yet, we're not comfortable about seeing them in the news, and i think that is worthying about. >> host: professor of communication here at the university of pennsylvania, published by oxford, "about the die: how images moves public." this is booktv on c-span2.
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>> on a recent visit to albany, new york with the help of our partner, time warner cable, booktv explored the literary and cultural atmosphere of the city. albany, one of the most popular cities in the u.s. in 1810 is home to several institutions of higher learning,ing inning the university of albany, state university of new york, the albany law school, the fourth oldest law school in the u.s., and the albany college of pharmacy and health sciences. >> we're in the university of albany library department of
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special collections and archives, the main repository on campus for collecting arian civile records, historical records, and primary sources, and are used by students, teachers, professors, scholars, and others to do historical research. the national death penalty archive started here at the university of albany in 2001. it was a partnership between the archivists here and department of special collections and archives, and faculty members in the school of criminal justice. there is no national death penalty archive for documenting the fascinating history of capital punishment in the united states so we set forth to establish the first death punishment archive, and what we do is we reach out to key organizations, significant individuals, who are working
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either to abolish capital punishment or are proponents of capital punishment, and these individuals and organizations form the ideas that framed the debate that goes on, both in the legal arena and the political arena over the death punishment. what i want to show you from the death penalty archives today is a collection from a gentleman whose name is m wait sv, jr., recognized at the foremost historian of the death penalty in the united states. he began doing research on the death penalty in the late 1960s while he was a traveling salesman, became so fascinated with crime and capital punishment, and at the time, he was a proponent of the death penalty, but he became so fascinated with the topic of the debt penalty that he quit his job as a traveler salesman and dedicated his wife to documenting every single person executed in the united states
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since the beginning of this country. when he started his work, there was estimates in the scholarly community there were five or 6,000 people executed in the united states. after his three decades of work, he documented nearly 16,000 people executed, and he collected all of these primary sources, and i'm going to show you some of the documents from the collection right now. here is is picture of him in the home in alabama surrounded by the walls of the home that he had framed with people who were executed. these are the kinds of things that he went to, small city governments, county governments, doing local research to document his goal to document every single person executed in the country. one of the persons that he compiled information on was the youngest person to be executed
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in the united states in the twentyieth simple ri. there's themes that draw out. one of the themes is the execution of children. this has been debated, ideas and perspective given on this. is it right to execute chirp? another theme is is it proper to execute people who are mentally ill? another issue that is drawn out in the history of capital punishment is the factor of race and determining sentencing of capital punishment. it's been statistically proven that race is a mitigating factor in capital punishment sentencing so these themes of race, of executing the young, executing the mentally ill are themes to draw out of the collection. here we have george stinny. george was 14 # years old when
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he of the convicted of killing an 1 # 1 -- 11-year-old girl in south carolina in 1944. he was 14 years old. he was barely 95 pounds dripping wet, five-foot tall, and he was swiftly convicted and executed within three months of the crime. now, when he was executed, he was put in an electric chair. obvious, this was built for adulted so they would barely get the straps around his wireses and legs because he was so skinny and thin, but this speaks to the issue of do we want to execute in the country, people who are children? he would create an index card on that individual person. here we see george, and this is the card, talks about barely 14 years old, from south carolina,
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march 24th, 19 # 44, he end countered an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old girl who worked with george's father, seems like, and eventually, fairly brutal crime was committed, and says here speedily brought to trial for the death of ms. fenicker. he was convicted and sentenced to die. the indictment of the murder was prosecuted, but he did not receive the death sentence, no appeal, denied by the governor johnson who stated that, quote, the brutality of the crime negated any consideration of the youthfulness. after his conviction, he admitted to the murders, and then goes down, he made no
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comment after entering the death chamber with a bible-under-par his arms and the guards had difficulty strapping him in the chair which was designed for adults. at the time of the execution, he was only 14 years, five months old. he cites where he got that information from. the papers contain about 90 boxes of records, index cards on 16,000 people were executed in the united states. the first person executed in the united states was 1608 in jamestown, virginia. george kim been ball executed for espionage. his father managed a bank. i don't know if this ledger had any connection to that.
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he wrote down every single person once he discovered that they were executed. he started off with the ledger. it's much -- so you're seal here he lists the name, the occupation, what city their came from, the crime, the age, the motive, the dates, all the factual information about the person executeed. you'll see we're in south carolina here. here is george, black, 14. it's interesting that he first calls george stinny, a child, but crosses that out and calls him a student so the county
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where he was from, the crime, murder, and he adds here of an 11-year-old white girl, and the date of execution, june 16th, 1944. you can see here how meticulous epsy was in the research. the ledger, itself, goes from about 1968 to about 1982. he then went to the index card method. it's the most comprehensive collection on people executed in the united states from the very first person in 1608 to when he stopped working, i think, around 2005 he stopped collecting these, became somewhat ill. i think one of the things that he would say is that he started off as a proponent of the death penalty, but as he did his
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research, as he realized that people who were innocent were executed, again, people who were children were executed, people who didn't have the mental capacity all the time to know what he -- what they were doing in a crime, one of the interesting things connected to the death penalty archives that is not necessarily part of epsy's research is the idea that some of the organizations whose records we have are, they are groups of murder victims, family members of murder victims, who are against the death penalty. that aspect of research is fascinating, someone whose spouse or child was the victim of a gruesome crime would then advocate not for the death penn. that's an interesting aspect also. these collections are the way that historians, whether students or professional scholars or journalists, this is
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how people research and write history. they use primary source documents as evidence to prove their arguments. they use primary sources to document people and organizations they write about. essentially, this is the raw material for historians and his cor call researchers to provide evidence for history. i like to say this a historian is very similar to a lawyer. they have an argument, and they need to present the argument and present what their thesis is, and then they need to provide evidence to back up their thesis. well, here at the archives and special collections, we take care, and we manage all of that evidence that his tore yaps have for -- historians have for research and writing purposes. now more from albany, new york, with the help from time warner cable, looking at the original talking book and braille libraries.
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>> new york state library goes back to 1818, one of the first state libraries in the nation with a very, very proud and long tradition of being able to share resources with everyone. certainly, the talking book of the braille library is, for me, one of the cornerstones, sort of the, you know, the diamond at the top in terms of staying. the commitment that new york makes to the people is the commitment to everyone. if you just take a moment to think about not being able to open that book and read it, without some other kind of intervention, you get the idea this is a pretty amazing service that the government has created, and that we've been able to offer here in new york for decades and decades. >> congress annotation.
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>> this is the free service that's offered through the national library service for the blind and library of congress to citizens in all the 50 states, the focus is to provide the chance for people to read who are, in some way, print disabled, people who can't hold a normal book or read a normal book. they may be blind. they may have other handicaps or disabilities that prevent them from opening a book and using a book as intended. we circulate about 850,000 different items, represent the huge vast array of fiction, popular fiction, non-fiction, quotation books, the holy bile, you name it. most of those are either mailed to people. the movement now is for digital
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books or for people to be able to download from their home computer or a home device full book or magazine for them to use at home. we serve individuals about 15,000 people are regularly part of our clientele, and then we serve people through about 3,000 institutions, nursing homes, hospitals, day care centers, and other places where people in the community gather to meet. many of the places we have deposits of the material, and those might be talking booings or books in braille, but also where we get people connected to the service. the network we're a part of includes all the states, every state in the union has at least one talking book library. the design, obviously, is to be sure that everywhere this idea of equal access to materials is
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fulfilled. in new york, the sort of point of entry to the talking book and braille library world is your local library. you can go into any public library, you can go into most school libraries, and even academic libraries in new york, and if you're in some way print disabled, and you need help being able to read print materials or hear or listen to print materials, those libraries make a connection to us, and we make arrangements for people to have improve access. the service's one that's insignificant transition. from books that used to be recorded pretty much on tape, the old cassette tape idea to using the latest in digital technology, and we're very excited about this transition because that makes it faster, cheaper, more efficient to get good quality reading materials
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to people when they need it. the service, obviously, is designed for the government to be sure that people have equal collections and access to the materials and in the spirit of all the public libraries in the country, and we have over 15,000 libraries. we have more public libraries than mcdonald's, we have a chance with the service like this to be sure that everyone has a chance to be well-informed citizens, which, obviously, is most critical, but, also to enjoy the rewards of being able to read great novels and great literature and be part of the world around them. we call ourselves the talking book and braille library. we could probably be the talking book library in part because braille ask not as popular as it used to be. braille is expensive to produce.
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uses a lot of paper. it is a paper-based technology. familiar quotation, new edition came out in the last couple weeks. pretty amazing and pretty important reference tool. in braille, 107 volumes, 107 volumes. i don't know how many 20-30 shelf filled with the volumes of what people know as a chunky volume, and in digital form, a little stick about that big. the economy around braille is, i think, pushing a lot of people to think about all the other forms, particularly the digital forms that are now available. while many people still speak braille, use braille, create braille, have the printers and the punches that are part of the
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braille language, we're seeing, i think, many younger readers not use braille, but rather use, obviously, all the other audio and connective forms that there are in terms of communication. so many of the hand held devices, many have speaking capabilities and audio exams now, and i'm not going to make predictions about braille, but i think we're seeing less and less of it. it's sort of interesting. as we talk about the transition of braille and the movement from braille to other forms, one of our challenges is that we have really many transitions in the world of talking books. the transition from braille to all the other forms. the transition from the old cassette tapes, which is a
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technology that the national library service will stop completely beginning of next year. they won't be producing anything in those tape forms. that'll be gone. in most people's personal lives, the cassette tape has been gone for a few years, and so we're a little behind the curve there. , obviously, the movement then to digital form and that comes in several different forms, but, generally, a little magic stick and i'm guessing that will be changing soon as well just because things are getting smaller, more compartmentalized, cheaper to produce, and faster 20 -- to produce. we want to be sure people who are print disabled will get their books right then and there. we don't want people to have to wait so we are transitioning along with the national library
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service for the blind. in all the areas of our collection, you see behind me, all of the blue cases, these are digital material. if you look around, you see a lot of cases in green, those are often filled with cassette materials that will be obsolete. our challenge and the federal level challenge is how many of these older materials do we need to recon figure into new formats so that they will be available for people, and how long can we afford to operate in several different modes, sometimes particularly older people find themselves, once they learn a particular technology, a particular piece of machinery, they want to stick with it because they understand it, and so we're trying to be sensitive to individual needs, but at the
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same time, our goal is to get as much material available to as many people at the lowest possible cost as quickly as we possibly can. the structure of the talking book libraries and the national library service of the blind is a structure based on federal statute, that permits the national library service, part of the library of congress, to secure copy right support, enable them to create talking books from books that would otherwise be sold as audio books. the federal government has devised an arrangement that's part of the world of copyright to people who create books, in printed form or audio form, retain their rights of ownership, in our world of
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copyright, but basically with fees and other relationships, enable the government to invest additional resources to convert those books into talking books that then are available through the talking book and braille library. in some cases, not always, it's the same book. it may even be the same narration that's use. in many, many cases, the books that are part of the talking book and braille library are books not available in the marketplace as add deny audio books, and even though our materials are popular things, best sellers in the new "new yok times," there's a lag in terms of their availability just because the marketplace dictates that the paying customers are out there first, and those are the audio books that you might
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buy online or your favorite book seller. talking books, if you were to listen to any of the ones that we have, they are extremely professionally done. the periodicals people can get, also, narrators are skilled. , and if you love any kind of audio book, you would be attracted to this on audio book, but the audience is limited, and, of course, people would understand if they are widely available, and they are available for free people who created them would not get the appropriate return on their creative energy. we're very respectful and thoughtful to be sure people
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qualified for the service, and we go to great length they need the service. >> one of a kind wiz -- wisdom and quirky humor with the subtle truth that work in our lives. >> it's one of those remarkable services that the government designed and funded in order to do what our democracy needs to be, to be sure, again, everyone has that access to be well-informed citizens and be able to fully participate in all the things that are democracy has to offer. >> for more information on this and other cities on the local content vehicle's tour, go to c-span.org/localcontent. here's a look at books being published this week.
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